With NFL free agency officiating kicking off in non-tampering fashion Thursday afternoon, here’s a rundown of the key agreements and deals that have been struck since Tuesday…
Lions agree to terms with offensive tackle Ricky Wagner: The 27-year-old was one of the best right tackles in the league last year, but the Ravens let him get away despite also losing a premier offensive lineman in Kelechi Osemele last offseason. Detroit’ll take it, even at $9-plus million a year, because he’ll be provide an upgrade over impending free agent Riley Reiff.
Colts re-sign tight end Jack Doyle: The underrated 26-year-old caught a ridiculous 79 percent of the passes thrown his way last season. That was the highest rate in the last quarter-century among wide receivers or tight ends that were targeted at least 75 times. For just $6.3 million a year, this was a no-brainer.
Patriots acquire tight end Dwayne Allen from Colts: After re-signing Doyle, the Colts decided to gain some draft currency for Allen, who will likely replace Martellus Bennett as Rob Gronkowski’s backup in New England. Now everyone will of course expect Allen — a third-round pick in 2012 with 56 career starts under his belt — to become a stud with the Pats. But Indy’s probably thrilled to trade in a sixth-round pick for a fourth-rounder.
Tight ends Jermaine Gresham and Vernon Davis stay with Arizona and Washington: Both are basically a step above being role players. But that disappearing tight end market might have forced New England’s hand.
Jets sign wide receiver Brandon Marshall: A veteran presence around Odell Beckham Jr. couldn’t hurt, but this guy? Also worth considering…
Lowest reception %s among 48 receivers with 100+ targets in 2016
46. DeAndre Hopkins 51.7
47. Allen Robinson 48.3
48. Brandon Marshall 46.1
— Brad Gagnon (@Brad_Gagnon) March 3, 2017
Dolphins re-sign wide receiver Kenny Stills: Four years, $32 million with $20 million guaranteed, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Pretty good for a guy who caught just 48 percent of the passes thrown his way during his first two seasons with the team.
49ers agree to terms with quarterback Brian Hoyer: But that doesn’t mean they’re out of the Kirk Cousins picture. NFL Network’s Aditi Kinkhabwala reported on Wednesday that they view Hoyer as more of a “backup-type” quarterback, which is probably the right mindset. San Francisco still has like a billion dollars to spend.
49ers also add wide receiver Pierre Garcon and Kyle Juszczyk: John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan aren’t messing around. Garcon is a solid veteran coming off the second-best season of his career, and he’s very familiar with Shanahan’s offense. Juszczyk is a reigning Pro Bowler who can be used as a Swiss Army Knife. They’re being paid big bucks, so expect both to play large roles.
Jaguars agree to terms with safety Barry Church: The 29-year-old has been a solid starter the last four years, but Jacksonville has the talented John Cyprien and the highly-paid Tashaun Gipson. This might be a sign they’re willing to let the former walk as a free agent.
Lions also agree to terms with linebacker Paul Worrilow: The 26-year-old had 151 tackles, two interceptions, two sacks and three forced fumbles as a full-time starter in 2014 and 2015. He could take over for impending free agent Joshua Bynes, compete inside with Tahir Whitehead or at least add depth to a position that lacks talent, especially if DeAndre Levy can’t remain healthy.
Bills agree to terms with fullbacks Patrick Dimarco and Mike Tolbert: Huh? (It makes a little more sense when you consider that they’ll reportedly use Tolbert as a halfback, until you consider that Tolbert has been a fullback for five years and is 31, as well as the fact they already have LeSean McCoy and Mike Gillislee on the roster.)